Mashed Potato. Chestnut. Nutmeg. Butter.
Mashed potatoes with a heavenly creamy nuttiness where the chestnut lends a muted sweetness and the nutmeg, a warm spicy perfume. How in the world did such a sublime combination of everyday ingredients elude me for decades? Mashed Potato. Chestnut. Nutmeg. Butter. (Plus a bit of light cream for the mash, salt and pepper). It’s a glorious side dish.
Prepare Yukon Gold mashed potatoes in the usual manner. A couple minutes before the potatoes are done cooking, add whole peeled & cooked chestnuts to the pot to heat them through. Use a ratio of three parts potato to one part chestnut. Coarsely mash the potatoes and chestnuts with light cream, butter, salt and pepper. Finish with fresh grated nutmeg.
Hurry. This is the tail end of the chestnut season…and this comforting side is the antidote to winter everywhere. Even in Southern California where my trusty pooch Wilson and I took our hike today on the Rotunda Trail near Trump National Golf Club in Palos Verdes. Upper 60’s and sunny, pelicans flying by in formation. But it does cool down here at night in winter, so mashed potatoes with chestnuts are a welcome addition to the menu.
Melissa’s Produce Company sells chestnuts vacuumed-packed and readily available November through February. Or remember this simply sublime dish when fresh chestnuts come available next October. I plan to.